How to Become a Business Analyst

A business analyst also may be referred to as a management analyst or management consultant. Business analysts determine ways to enhance the efficiency of many types of organizations and businesses. They provide advice to senior managers to make a company more profitable by reducing costs and boosting profits.

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Some of the tasks that a business analyst performs include: (

  • Determine user needs from requests from users and devise strategies to meet those business needs.
  • Critically evaluate information from many sources and determine the quality of the final analysis.
  • Communicate complex business data in ways that managers and executives can understand.
  • Analyze financial and other data, such as revenue, expenditure, and employment reports to make business recommendations.
  • Interview personnel and perform onsite evaluations to determine the equipment, methods, and personnel needed. (gov)
  • Implement necessary business metrics to meet organization and customer needs.
  • Analyze and report on data to help managers make better business decisions.

Many business analysts work for one company, but others work for consulting companies and engage with many different companies over time. Some business analysts focus on a specific industry, such at healthcare or IT, while others specialize in a specific business department, such as human resources.

If you are interested in working as a business analyst, below is more information about this career.

What Is Business Analysis?

Business analysis is the process and practice of helping to make changes in an organization by defining needs and recommending business solutions that provide value to all stakeholders in the organization. (

Business analysis is an agent of change in an organization. It is used to identify and articulate the need for different approaches in how companies work and to make that change. Business analysis identifies and defines solutions that increase the value that is delivered by a company to its customers and stakeholders.

The value of business analysis is in avoiding unnecessary costs, pinpointing new opportunities, understanding capabilities and modeling the company for the best chances to increase profits and reduce costs.

What Do Business Analysts Do?

From being excellent at communication to knowing how to analyze large datasets, business analysts need to wear a lot of hats. As a business analyst, you can expect to do many things, including (

  • Work with stakeholders to identify opportunities to improve business operations and processes.
  • Work with technical staff to design or modify business or IT systems.
  • Interact with stakeholders and subject matter experts to understand needs and problems.
  • Gather, document, and analyze business requirements and needs.
  • Document the function and technical designs of business systems.
  • Interact with developers and system architects to ensure business systems are properly implemented.
  • May help test business systems and create system documentation and manuals for users.

Where Do Business Analysts Work?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that management analysts and business analysts held 876,000 jobs in 2018. The largest employers  of these professionals were in these areas of the economy: (

  • Professional, scientific, and technical services: 30%
  • Self-employed workers: 18%
  • Government: 16%
  • Finance and insurance: 11%
  • Management of companies and enterprises: 5%

Some of the best companies to work for as business analysts are: (

  • P. Morgan
  • Deloitte
  • Accenture
  • Target
  • Capital One
  • UnitedHealth Group
  • Bank of America
  • Cisco Systems
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Citi
  • Boeing
  • IBM
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • Wells Fargo
  • AIG
  • CGI

What Is the Job Outlook for Business Analysts?

BLS reports that business analysts and management analysts will enjoy 14% job growth by 2028, which is much faster than average. It is anticipated that the demand for business analysts will grow because companies need to increase their efficiency to stay ahead of the competition. (

SEE ALSO: Salary Outlook for Master’s in Business Analytics

The need for business analysts should be especially strong in the healthcare field. Healthcare organizations are experiencing higher costs because the US population is aging, technology is getting more advanced, and medical procedures are more expensive. Business analysts also may be required to help people to navigate the health insurance regulatory environment.

It is believed that IT business analysts will be needed as organizations want to bring in consulting companies to help them with cybersecurity initiatives. BLS expects growth should be the highest in the smaller consulting companies that focus on specific business functions such as information technology or human resources.

Also, the International Institute of Business Analysis reports that business analysis career outlook is outstanding. It is expected that the number of job openings for business analysts will reach 2,720,000 in 2020, up from 364,000 four years ago. (

One of the reasons the IIBA believes business analysts will be in high demand is their jobs cannot be automated; business analysis requires human thought and introspection. Also, 70% of companies have a digital transformation strategy or are planning one. These programs require business analysts to facilitate the digital transformation by devising and implementing information systems that execute the strategy.

Business analysts also are needed to bring organizational change by bringing in new business processes, enhancing efficiency and productivity of current business processes, and lowering operating costs of current business processes.

How Can You Become a Business Analyst?

Becoming a business analyst generally requires the minimum of a bachelor’s degree in computer science, accounting, business, IT, information systems, or management information systems. To get a higher-level position later in your career, it is recommended to earn your MBA in Business Data Analytics, Master of Science in Business Data Analytics, or Master of Science in Information Management.

SEE ALSO: Best Masters Degree’s Online for a Business Analyst

What Do Exams and Licensing Involve?

One of the most effective ways to enhance your job prospects as a business analyst is to obtain the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) designation offered by the International Institute of Business Analysis. This is the elite level of certification in the field, and it requires you to have plenty of hands-on experience and expert-level knowledge.

Earning CBAP designation provides you with more respect and credibility among your business peers. You also can make your CV stand out from others when you are looking for a higher-paying business analyst position. Top employers increasingly want to see CBAP certification when hiring or promoting these professionals. (